4.3 Period of study

4.3.1 The minimum and maximum periods of study

The minimum and maximum periods of study permitted for the University's research degree programmes are summarised in table 4.3.1.

The period of study begins when the student first registers for the degree programme. Where a student initially registers for a Masters degree by research and later transfers to a doctoral degree, the period of study begins on the date of registration for the Masters degree. Where a student transfers from a doctoral degree to a Masters degree by research, the Faculty PGR Director will, based on the circumstances, approve an appropriate remaining period of study to allow the student time to submit a dissertation for a Masters degree by research.

Table 4.3.1 Normal minimum and maximum periods of study

Doctorates

F/T Minimum

F/T Maximum

P/T Maximum

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

3 yrs

4 yrs

7 yrs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Musical Composition

3 yrs

4 yrs

7 yrs

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

3 yrs

3 yrs

6 yrs

Doctor of Education (EdD)

3 yrs

4 yrs

7 yrs

Doctor of Educational Psychology (DEdPsy)

3 yrs

4 yrs

7 yrs

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

2 yrs

5 yrs

7 yrs

Doctor of Social Science (DSocSci)

3 yrs

4 yrs

7 yrs

Engineering Doctorate (EngD)

3 yrs

4 yrs

7 yrs

Master’s degrees (by research)

F/T Minimum

F/T Maximum

P/T Maximum

Master of Music (MMus)

2 yrs

3 yrs

5 yrs

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) (Arts)

1 yr

1 yr

2 yrs

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) (Social Sciences and Law)

1 yr

2 yrs

3 yrs

Master of Science by Research (MScR)

1 yr

2 yrs

3 yrs

The normal minimum and maximum periods of study for research students registered part time assume students are studying on a half time basis. If this is not the case, then the period of study should be adjusted accordingly on a pro-rata basis.

Periods of study may be varied for named programmes as specified in the individual programme regulations in Annex 1 and Annex 2. Information on changes to the period of study relevant to full-time EngD students and to some full-time PhD students who are funded by an official sponsor is included in Annex 1

All research students must submit their dissertation on or before their final submission date.

Where a research student does not submit on or before their final submission date the student will be deemed to have withdrawn due to lapse of time.

The final submission date is the end of the maximum period of study plus any modifications from approved extensions and/or suspensions (see Section 6.4 for more information on extensions and suspensions).

Sponsored research students may also be subject to their sponsors’ requirements in respect of submission.

The period allowed for writing up for a research degree is one year for both full-time and part-time students.

After submission, research students must complete all subsequent requirements and be awarded their degree by the end of their overall maximum completion period (see Section 4.3.2).  

Research students should consider how they will complete all aspects of their research degree, including writing up, within their maximum period of study and ideally within any funded period that supports them. The way in which writing up is incorporated into the programme of work that makes up a research degree will vary with discipline. In some disciplines, where the research involves the use of specialised resources or facilities, there may be restrictions on access to these in the final year of the research degree (i.e. year 4 of a full-time PhD and year 2 of a full-time MScR) due to an expectation that data collection is completed and the research student is focusing on data analysis and writing up. All research students are advised to discuss the writing up aspect of their project with their supervisory team at the start of their study and to review on an ongoing basis. This will enable a plan of work with clear expectations to be agreed and modified as necessary.

4.3.2 The overall maximum completion period

The University imposes an overall maximum completion period to ensure that research students do not take an excessive amount of time to complete their degrees. The maximum completion period, set out below, refers to the total time limits for doctoral awards and masters by research awards and is not altered by any suspensions or extensions that might have been granted (see Section 6.4). The submission of the dissertation must be on or before the final submission date as set out in Section 4.3.1.

The maximum completion period runs from initial registration to final approval of the award by the Research Degrees Examination Board. 

The maximum completion period for any research degree programme is the maximum period of study plus five years. 

The maximum completion period is fixed from the point of initial registration and is not altered by any approved extensions and/or suspensions.